I bought my horse, Sonny, in October last year. When I bought him he was mainly a pasture pal with a little light pleasure riding. He was 10 when I bought him and turned 11 in February. I haven't been doing too much with him, since I started parelli with him we have been doing mostly ground work. I have been doing hill work with him, along with ground poles and jumping. I feel like his top line has muscled up a lot, and when he arches his neck it looks a lot more muscular in the right areas. I think he has lost some weight since winter but not a ton. He gets 4 flakes of hay a day along with being turned out, and around 2 quarts of Purina Healthy Edge.
I have been thinking that he is getting in a lot better shape, but when I compare pictures of when I first saw him to today, it doesn't look that much different. Can you guys give me any suggestions or critique his body condition, please?
I'm sorry and I don't want to sound mean, but I actually liked the way he looked in the first picture better. He has built a lot of muscle, but he is holding a lot of tension in that muscle. Good, healthy muscle would not be that tight and bulky and its going to hinder his grace in movement some. Also, the neck looks to be growing upside down, with more bulk in the lower than in the upper. He's bracing and using that to pull himself forward. Bulk is not always better. Healthy muscle should actually have a very flexible yet firm feel to it. Overly tight muscles are going to put excess strain on the joints.
I think that he is in beautiful shape. He has amazing muscle tone and he looks almost balanced. His chest is very developed and his back looks strong. I think you are doing a very good job with him. As the previous posts comments on his neck, I think its the angle of the picture and the fact that he is partially wet which throws a bit of bulky look to it. Keep up the good work! He is amazing!
Thank you guys! That makes me feel better. I can get some more photos of him in motion too.
Just a note about his neck that I forgot to mention: about a month or two ago he was kicked really bad on the underside of the neck. It didnt bleed at all the but tissued swelled up the size of a baseball and was really hard. It obviously went down a ton, but the tissue in that area still bulges and feels hard. The vet said it was just scar tissue and nothing to worry about but I believe the bottom of his neck looks all funky now. Especially when he has it raised in that angle....